Kirill Doronin (the mastermind of Russian crypto Ponzi Scheme Finiko) has suggested that he testify against several of his former partners who, he alleges, have violated his orders to take only cryptocurrency investors. The founder of Russia’s largest financial pyramid in modern times has already provided detailed testimonies against a long list of accomplices, a media report revealed.
Kirill Doronin is ready to expose his closest Finiko Associates
Russian authorities have offered cooperation to Finiko, the man responsible for the crypto pyramid. This is likely to reduce the potential repercussions. Kirill Doronin, an Instagram influencer associated with other scams in the past, now wants to testify against 44 of his subordinates who, as he claims, “went against the precepts” of Finiko by taking fiat cash from victims, which he insists he never authorized.
As the Ponzi scheme collapsed, Doronin was taken into custody. Since then, he has been transferred from Russia to Moscow. The federal Ministry of Internal Affairs took control of Finiko’s investigation because of its size. Three months after his arrest, the mastermind of the “automatic profit generation system,” continues to deny any responsibility and puts the blame for its collapse on his partners and assistants.
An article published by the Russian “Business Online” portal, quoting law enforcement sources, reveals that Doronin has recently offered to provide exposing information about his accomplices. “I am ready to give revealing testimony about the participants of the Finiko company who illegally collected fiat money (Russian rubles and U.S. dollars),” the head of the phantom entity said in a petition addressed to the chief investigator on the case, Grigory Antonov.
During an interrogation on Nov. 18, which lasted for hours on end, Kirill Doronin gave the MVD officials a list of 44 people, around 10% of Finiko’s “stars” or the pyramid’s influencers, whose task was to entice investors. “In relation to each of the above persons, I am ready to provide both incriminating testimony and additional evidence confirming the illegality of the actions of these persons,” Doronin wrote in the document, further stating:
I have been adamant against the lure of fiat money, and during our meetings have constantly advocated for banning cryptocurrency transactions.
“Business Online” notes that Doronin’s defense is obviously trying to convince investigators, and the court at some point in the future, that the founder of Finiko has ordered its employees to accept only cryptocurrency. But this can prove problematic for him as crypto deals are not legal in Russia and also because the Ponzi scheme’s members had offered investors, the majority of whom did not possess digital currency, the option to convert their fiat funds into crypto assets.
Chainalysis reports that the fraud has received cryptocurrency in large amounts, more than $1.5 billion of bitcoin, 800,000 deposits, between December 2019 to August 2021. The Russian Federation, Ukraine, the neighboring countries and several EU members are the victims.
Many of Finiko’s familiar faces are among the 44 names listed on Doronin’s blacklist. These include two of his vice presidents, Ilgiz Shakirov and Dina Gabdullina, as well as Lilia Nurieva, who rose to the rank of a so-called “10th Star,” who were also arrested and subsequently transferred to Moscow.
Doronin is a Father and Seeks House Arrest
Kirill Doronin’s lawyers hope that authorities will agree to change his detention to house arrest in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation, especially in the light of him recently becoming a father. The Finiko mastermind still refuses to acknowledge personal guilt, so this unlikely.
What’s more, his testimony does not mention the identities of those who “technically” designed the fraudulent scheme, facilitated the transfer of funds abroad, and most importantly, the criminals and potentially officials who protected Finiko, allowing it to grow from a regional scam to the level of the notorious MMM pyramid from the 1990s.
The same report notes that Russians still want to know the truth about the question “Where’s the money?” Russian YouTuber Andrey Alistarov, who claimed that $48 million worth of Bitcoin had been stolen from Finiko’s wallet in November, was quoted by reports. Alistarov thinks the transaction were ordered by three members of the high-ranking group, Doronin’s close associates, and they managed to flee the Russian Federation without being detained.
A high court in Tatarstan approved the international arrest warrants of Zygmunt Zygmuntovich, Marat Sabirov and Edward Sabirov. According to another article by “Business Online,” the fugitives have escaped to the United Arab Emirates through Belarus. Some sources claim, however, that Zygmuntovich, considered to be Doronin’s right hand, is hiding in Abkhazia, a Russia-backed breakaway republic of Georgia, while another source has been quoted as stating that the three Finiko co-founders are now in Turkey.
Is it possible for Russian authorities to recover funds from defrauded investors, and to bring those responsible Finiko members before the law? Comment below.
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